Above are two of our project boxes being oiled. The one at the back is mine, the one in front belongs to another student.

We were supposed to allow the oil to soak into the wood for fifteen minutes, then wipe off what was left, leave the boxes to dry overnight and then sand them lightly and repeat. Simple enough. Unfortunately someone who will remain nameless misunderstood the instructions and applied two coats of oil on one day, which I now know is courting disaster and shame, or at least a slightly blotchy finish.

After an hour of sanding down the surface, and ruining about seven sanding discs, I started again, fretting all the time about the mess I’d made.

It seemed to work out. Below all the boxes are drying after their second coat of oil. Because I’m such a special person, mine has a trolley to itself on the left end.